No, I Think You Missed The Point…

“If you think a control-system attack that takes down a utility even for a few hours is not serious, just look at what is happening now that Mother Nature has taken out those utilities,” Napolitano said at a Washington Post cybersecurity event, noting the effects in some cases can be “life threatening.”

While yes, cybersecurity should be taken seriously, Sandy is not an example of how dangerous a cyber attack could be.

What do I mean I hear you cry?  Sandy is a prime example of what someone could do to physically interrupt the power system.  While you could find a way to get a breaker to open or close unintentionally, the easier method of disrupting utilities is to find critical points and physically knock them out.

First, let me do a quick explanation of what’s going on in the NYC area.  Most power distribution in the NYC area is below ground.  This makes it below sea level.  This is one of the reasons they shut down many areas early, in an effort to protect equipment so that it can return to service more quickly.  Still, that equipment has to be cleaned, transformers for example have to be washed, insulation checked, and refilled with cooling oil.  This takes time, though much less time than having to fly in a replacement transformer, removing the old one, and installing and commissioning the new one.

So what we have is a bunch of distribution points that were/are full of water, need to be drained, the equipment cleaned, checked, maintained, and replaced possibly in some instances.  All of this must be done before re-energizing that circuit.

So why did I take the time to explain all that?  Well because it illustrates that if done properly, a physical attack, can easily do more damage than any cyber attack, and even more than that you have decreased the potential recovery time.  But that’s not all.  Say you execute an attack on physical infrastructure and take out 2 transmission level transformers on a main artery.

You have now done triple digit damage in the millions if not more.  Plus it will take 2-3 years, at a minimum, to replace the transformers.  Any stock they have for those transformers is in very limited supply.  This means if you hit a couple of places at once, you could very well permanently cripple the ability for a region to get the power necessary to operate.

Seriously, think about this, cyber-security to protect assets worth millions of dollars and provide hundreds of millions in revenue are going to be left unguarded by their owners and operators?  Get real.  The bigger and harder problem is physical security.  How do you stop someone from running a truck into a transmission tower?

Why do I bring all this up?  Because our overlords often start screaming about “necessity” in an effort to create new regulations and requirements which honestly are unnecessary.  They’re unnecessary because do you think a utility company doesn’t want to protect its equipment?  For every minute a transmission line is down they’re loosing millions of dollars in lost revenue.

We’ve seen these cries before and yet again it is to drum up “FUD” among people who don’t really understand how the system works.  FUD is how you make a bunch of people clamor to do something when nothing really needs to be done.  That’s what Janet’s doing with her latest ramblings.

Overheard in the Barnett Castle…

The Minutewoman: So evidently Joe Biden was joking about running for president in 2016.

Myself: (makes a funny face) I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.


Seriously that isn’t funny, that’s not a joke, that’s just disturbing.  The idea of another four years of fearless leader is bad enough, but following that up with the tyranny of Plugs is unbelievably disturbing.

As it is I keep hoping I will wake up from this nightmare but instead it just keeps getting worse.

If you don’t get the reference for my quote above:

Though I think this version is even funnier:

Yes, it’s a parody of this song.

Interesting Map

So I stumbled across this from Kiro TV in Seattle today.

image

That is the distribution of CPL licenses by zip code.  The deeper the red, the more self reliant the community.  What I found interesting is major urban area’s had a much lower rate, with Seattle having a rate as low as 1%.  What is most telling about that though is that when you get into the rural areas there is a realization you cannot depend on the police.  I’m not making that up either:

“People understand it might take a while for the sheriff to get to Lyman,” Hills insisted.

Mayor Debbie Heinzman also runs the local tavern. She agrees that “everybody has guns” in Lyman to protect themselves and their property.

Next I’d like to see a map that overlays property and violent crime rates by zip code.  Correlation doesn’t equal causation, but I think it would still be an interesting thing to see.  Doubly so since I’m sure it would counter the “more guns equals more crime” myth as well as the “concealed carry means blood in the streets” myth.

I’m reasonably sure this would be the case because:

KIRO 7 Investigators calculated only 2.8 percent of Seattle residents, overall, have sought the right to carry.

In the six zip codes to the east of I-5 (the International District to Capitol Hill, to north of the UW) the number is even lower — just 1.6 percent.

I lived in Seattle for 2 years in the U-District and there wasn’t really a day that went by that I didn’t hear about either violent crime or property crime.  There is an anomaly in that theory as Kent, which is not exactly the nicest part of the area, has a carry rate equal to where I live.  Even worse is Tacoma, which high urban area also has a much higher carry rate than the state average.

So when you pull all that in, it’s like the gun is merely a tool and what really matters are the people carrying it and what their intent is.

Over Reliance Can Get You Killed…

Over reliance on both the government and technology can get you killed.  Why would I combine the two, well fearless leader has an over reliance on technology which he then passed onto his drones in the middle of a disaster area.

When President Barack Obama urged Americans under siege from Hurricane Sandy to stay inside and keep watch on ready.gov for the latest, he left out something pretty important — where to turn if the electricity goes out.

Despite the heightened expectation of widespread power and cable television failures, everyone from the president to local newscasters seem to expect the public to rely entirely on the Internet and their TVs for vital news and instructions.

Because complex interconnected systems are reliable when operating out of the their normal range of operation?  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to say that social media and the internet isn’t a tool worthy of use or note.  What I am saying is it is not the only tool in the tool box.  Seriously, if you’re power goes out, the only internet connection you’d have left is your smart phone.  Smart phone batteries don’t last forever, especially after you take an update from Google and removes battery saving features, I digress.

The point is  about the most reliable form of emergency communication is radio.  Period, full stop, end of discussion.  AM Radios can be built that do not require extensive antennas or even batteries.  I have handheld HAM radios that no only work on the HAM bands but can also receive shortwave radio sent from thousands of miles away.

That’s the thing about radio, it can be broadcast from outside the disaster area.  All you need within the disaster area is a capable receiver, which most are small compact, and some are even battery free.  Take these for example that I found on Amazon* (not visible in RSS).

Reliance on cellphones, while you can certainly get  hand crank chargers doesn’t mean your cell towers will stay in operation.  Cellular signals are on a shorter wavelength and will not travel as far.  Now most cellular sites have 72 hours of emergency power, but this also assumes their back haul remains active and intact.

I find it unbelievable how over reliant people are on technology to protect them and save them.  Yes it can help you survive, but just like a firearm it isn’t some magic talisman that will save you.  You need to understand how it works so you know it’s limitations.  You need to be familiar with how it can fail so you know what you need to do for plan B or C.

Yes you may not be able to communicate out for help but I have some bad news on the cell phone front during a disaster.  It will probably fail, like it has done in NYC.  Even if you have signal it probably wont work.  For example during the Nisqually Quake in 2001 communications throughout the Puget Sound went down, even emergency dispatch centers lost their primary radios.  Cell phones for the most part were dead, mainly because they were jammed with people trying to communicate in the area.    I got lucky and was able to make a connection to a location 300 miles away, local calls I got nothing.

The key is this, do not count on anything that requires established infrastructure in an emergency.  You could easily lose radio towers however, temporary antennas are easily set up to replace them.  This again was proven during the Nisqually Quake when emergency HAM nets were activated and operationally moving traffic throughout the Puget Sound in under 30 minutes after the quake.

So, have a plan, plan on that plan failing.  No plan survives first contact with the enemy.  Being able to communicate out is a very nice tool to have, but for most instances you just need to be able to hear and receive traffic.

*This is not an endorsement of these products, I have not used them.

The First Sign of Tyranny…

Is selective enforcement of the law.  I bring it up because I saw this today:

The Secret Service has expanded its operation to Twitter, urging Americans to report on their fellow citizens whose tweets “concern you.”

Now before it’s been pointed out that crowd sourcing on Twitter is full of issues.  But what is interesting is, as noted by David Hardy, someone created a nice page detailing at least 50 felonies committed on twitter by threatening a Presidential Candidate.  What kind of gems were contained in there, things like:

Romney make me wanna hop through the tv & just assasinate his ass .— 
Alyece Johnson (@alyy_joee) October 17, 2012

Among many more.  I bring this up because it seems that neither the secret service nor twitter actually seem to care.

More than a dozen Twitter accounts that were used as a medium to publically threaten Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s life after the second presidential debate remain active, nearly two weeks later. This news comes after the Secret Service told this publication that it was “aware” of these very threats on Romney’s life.

Now, I wonder how both Twitter and the Secret Service would react to someone making those statements about Obama.  I think we all know the answer considering the Secret Service has investigated things such as:

A Centreville man who hung an empty chair from a tree in his backyard with a sign reading “Nobama” attached to it denies that it was meant to represent any inference to lynching or had any racist connotations, though he did manage to “get on the radar” of the Secret Service.

Yet threats written in clear language are ignored because this presidential candidate is disliked by the left.

There’s a reason for that, violence and intimidation are the only languages the left knows.

Unpossible! They Tell Me It’s the Republicans That Steal!

You can’t make stuff like this up!

The woman named “Democrat of The Year” this year by the Jefferson County Democratic Party has been convicted of felony theft by a Jefferson County jury for stealing from a developmentally disabled 71-year-old woman.

In case you missed it, I’ll phrase it in fewer words.  The Democrat of the Year was caught stealing from a developmentally disabled woman.  Now maybe it’s just a corrupt individual and the party shouldn’t be held accountable for the actions of this woman…

Nearly as bothersome as the theft itself to Maxwell and other supporters of the victim, is the fact the Jefferson County Democratic Party was made aware of the ongoing criminal investigation and honored Carson anyway.

It’s like the democrat party likes, honors, and cherishes criminal behavior among it’s members.  Doubly nice is the fact that the media for the most part resists reporting on incidents such as this when their beloved run afoul and make the mistake of getting caught.

Good to see that the Democrats are becoming much more flippant about their corruption and their willingness to ignore it.

An Image I’ve Been Meaning To Do…

So I am by no means a Photoshop god, far from it as a matter of fact.   Someone sent me something recently and it was begging to get the full on treatment.  Well to get it out before the elections over, because honestly who would care after the fact, I just did it in a meme form.

AkwardMoment

 

I really wanted to recolorize the picture and put Biden in Joker makeup, but alas I don’t have the skills to get it done in minutes and I have other stuff I want to do.

Worthy of note however is the fact that this Administration has now killed more American Citizens willfully through malice, negligence, and being outright intentional than any administration before it.

What, you think I’m wrong?  Find me another administration who did something equivalent to the following three items:

We have a man who absolutely does not care about the health and well being of America or her citizens.  Even more than that he is willing to sacrifice them and then will attempt to use their deaths as political leverage.  These two villains need to go.

Even their own supporters admit that man of the policies pushed for by Obama are wrong and unconstitutional, but they become hypocrites when they find out it was their man who actually did it (ht to Weer’d).

Some how their sociopath won’t abuse his power for evil, and will help protect and defend American’s.  Except oh wait, he’s done the opposite again, but evidently we’re all imagining it.

SSCC #441 – Secret Service

A Secret Service officer assigned to Vice President Joe Biden’s residence was arrested Monday for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in his custody.

The response by the Secret Service?

“We are aware of the arrest of this employee. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of judicial action. Any other questions should be referred to the Prince William County police.”

Because you know, since he’s paid by the tax payers nothing really changes.  He’s paid to sit on his ass and do nothing right?  At least in this case law enforcement appears to have moved forward quickly.

State Sponsored Criminal #441: Hector Cuellar

Because when you protect the Vice President, some how that makes the most atrocious crimes OK!?